Markets & Finance

Cablevision Drops After Earnings Report


Cablevision Systems (CVC) shares fell Tuesday after the cable operator posted 36% higher first-quarter consolidated adjusted EBITDA on an 8% revenue rise. The company reported a first-quarter loss from continuing operations of 43 cents per share. It cut its telecommunication services adjusted EBITDA growth estimate to 16% to 18% due to higher programming costs.

Avanex (AVNX) shares rose on news that Corning (GLW) will sell a large portion of its photonic technology business to Avanex. Separately, Avanex will buy Alcatel Optronics. Raymond James upgraded Avanex.

Thomas Weisel reiterated an outperform rating on Scientific-Atlanta (SFA). On Monday the maker of broadband products, including set-top boxes, introduced a portfolio of radio frequency-based telecommunications solutions.

Salton (SFP) posted a $1.08 third-quarter loss per share, vs. 26 cents earnings per share, on 12% lower sales. The appliance maker, which markets George Foreman and Juiceman products, among others, says it's difficult to provide fourth-quarter guidance at this point. S&P downgraded.

Weight Watchers (WTW) shares fell after the provider of diet programs posted 39 cents, vs. 33 cents, first-quarter earnings per share from operations on an 18% revenue rise. Its profit of 37 cents a share, which includes a 2-cent negative impact from the mark-to-market of the company's euro-dominated debt, was a penny below the consensus estimate. In a conference call, Weight Watchers said it expects flat growth in organic attendance (which excludes acquisitions) for the second quarter.

J.P. Morgan downgraded supply-chain management services firm USF Corp. (USFC) to neutral from overweight.

CIBC World sees Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) gaining market share in all product lines in the second half of the year, and reiterates sector outperform.

Interdigital Communications (IDCC) posted 45 cents first-quarter earnings per share, vs. breakeven, on a 78% revenue rise, recognition of royalties, a litigation settlement, lower operating costs, and a lower tax rate.

Packaged Ice (ICY) agreed to be acquired by a new entity formed by Trimaran Capital Partners and Bear Stearns Merchant Banking for $3.62 per share.

Dutch food-service giant Ahold (AHO) accepted the resignation of Jim Miller, president and CEO of U.S. Foodservice.

Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN) shares fell after the drug maker says it will comment on its third-quarter conference call after the market close on Schering-Plough's (SGP) PEG-INTRON's sales, on which Enzon receives royalties. Schering-Plough reported worldwide sales of the INTRON franchise were down 7% in the first quarter.

Seperately, Schering-Plough posted 12 cents, vs. 41 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 19% sale drop, citing a loss of Claritin sales after the allergy drug became available without a prescription at a big discount to its former price. Schering withdrew the 75 cents to 85 cents 2003 earnings per share guidance.

QLT (QLTI) discontinued its current Phase III tariquidar trials in non-small cell lung cancer. The decision was made following a recommendation by an Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Committee.

Wal-Mart (WMT), the world's largest retailer, posted 42 cents, vs. 37 cents a year ago, first-quarter earnings per share on a 9.7% sales rise -- meeting analysts' average estimates. Profit was reduced by 2 cents a share, due to a new rule on how Wal-Mart accounts for money received from suppliers for promoting products.

J.C. Penney (JCP) reported first-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents, vs. 29 cents a year ago, on 3% lower total sales. The department store chain maintained its second-quarter guidance.

Specialty retailer Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) posted 16 cents, vs. 7 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on 13% higher same store sales, and 23% higher total sales. Prudential and CIBC World raised their estimates. S&P maintains accumulate.

Martha Stewart Living (MSO) is in talks with the U.S. Justice Dept. about settling its insider trading probe, according to the Financial Times.

Medical Staffing (MRN) posted 17 cents, vs. 13 cents, first-quarter earnings per share on a 40% revenue rise. It withdrew the prior annual guidance. CS First Boston downgraded to underperform from outperform.

Lehman Brothers upgraded West Corp. (WSTC) to overweight from equal-weight.

Bear Stearns upgraded AmeriCredit (ACF) to peer perform from underperform.

First Albany downgraded Computer Network Technology (CMNT) to neutral from buy.

Media giant News Corp. (NWS) posted 23 cents, vs. 18 cents, third-quarter EPADS on 14% higher revenues.

Hanover Compressor (HC) posted 2 cents, vs. 6 cents, first-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding a charge for securities litigation) despite a 7.1% revenue rise.

Tellabs (TLAB) will acquire Vivace Networks, a developer of flexible, higher performance multiservice IP edge switches, for $135 million in cash and employee stock options.


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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